WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita State University men’s basketball team fell to Louisiana Tech, 71-58, in their 2018-19 regular season home opener Tuesday, Nov. 6, inside Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (0-1) returns to action Friday, Nov. 9, against Providence in the Veterans Classic at the United States Naval Academy. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET inside Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md.
In his Shocker debut, freshman Erik Stevenson led Wichita State, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a 4-of-6 performance from three-point range. Fellow freshman Dexter Dennis added 10 points, while Jaime Echenique pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.
WSU shot just 37 percent from the floor (20-for-54) and 28 percent from beyond-the-arc (7-of-25), and were only 11-of-26 at the free-throw line in the game for 42 percent. The Shockers were also outrebounded by Louisiana Tech (1-0) in the contest, 37-26.
The first 10 minutes of the game were a battle, with neither team able to gain more than a four-point lead.
After a Markis McDuffie three-pointer with 10:11 remaining in the stanza gave the Shockers a 15-11 advantage, the Bulldogs caught fire offensively and proceeded to go on a 12-0 run over the next 4:29, gaining a 23-15 lead with just under 5:30 remaining in the half.
Louisiana Tech would increase its lead to as much as 14 with three minutes remaining, but WSU was able to trim the deficit down to 10 at 39-29 going into halftime after Stevenson drilled a three-pointer with 27 seconds to go.
Stevenson netted eight points in the half, pacing WSU in the opening 20 minutes.
Wichita State cut the deficit to 47-43 with 12:33 to go in the second-half after back-to-back treys from Stevenson and a pair of free-throws from Jaime Echenique, but the Bulldogs answered with eight consecutive points, pushing their advantage to 55-43 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the stanza.
The Shockers rallied late and cut the Bulldog lead to 63-58 with 1:19 to go, but Louisiana Tech went 4-for-4 at the foul line in the final minute, securing the victory.
Daquan Bracey scored 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting to pace the Bulldogs, while Amorie Archibald netted 14 points and snagged a game-high nine boards.
Louisiana Tech shot 44 percent from the field (22-of-50) and made just four of 16 three-pointers for 25 percent, but went 23-of-34 at the free-throw line for 68 percent.